Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860

Overview

Recognized since its initial publication in 1926 as a watershed in American historiography, Avery Odelle Craven's study of soil depletion in Virginia and Maryland links elements of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, causal aspects of the expansion of slavery, and the economics of staple-crop production into a unified view of southern history from the colonial era to the onset of the Civil War. In this volume Craven initiates a discussion that has changed the way historians view the relationship between ...
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Overview

Recognized since its initial publication in 1926 as a watershed in American historiography, Avery Odelle Craven's study of soil depletion in Virginia and Maryland links elements of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, causal aspects of the expansion of slavery, and the economics of staple-crop production into a unified view of southern history from the colonial era to the onset of the Civil War. In this volume Craven initiates a discussion that has changed the way historians view the relationship between historical events and the physical environment.

Using Maryland and Virginia as a case study, Craven assesses the abusive relationship between southern planters and their most valuable and abundant resource-the land-to posit that soil depletion and other ruinous agricultural practices contributed greatly to the economic crisis faced by mid-nineteenth-century America. His study traces a series of poor social and economic choices that affected the land and the survival of those who occupied it. Craven's findings still resonate with students and scholars of frontier, social, economic, agricultural, and environmental history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570036811
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: Southern Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

LOUIS A. FERLEGER is a professor of history at Boston University and executive director of the Historical Society. He is coeditor with Robert Paquette of Slavery, Secession, and Southern History.
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Table of Contents


Series Editors' Preface     vii
Introduction     ix
Preface to the First Edition     xxix
Soil Fertility and Soil Exhaustion     11
The Colonial Period, 1606-1783     25
The Post-Revolutionary Period, 1783-1820     72
The Agricultural Revival, 1820-1860     122
Summary and Conclusions     162
Bibliography     165
Index     173
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